My best time going into prelims was 5:03. That time would have put me in finals. My time today was a 5:09. That put me 11th. As I got up on the blocks I saw that a girl in the heat ahead of me had gotten DQ'd. She was one of the ones ahead of me in the rankings and I thought, this is my chance. The 1st 200 went well but then my body and my muscles got tight and I slowed down. I was ranked 3rd in my heat and could see a girl across the pool getting close to me. I tried to hold her off but it didn't work. I came in 4th on my heat and knew right away that my time wouldn't be fast enough for finals.
I am disappointed. I knew medaling was going to be tough but I thought for sure I would make finals and even more sure that I would get 3 best times. I only got a best time in 1 event. This just wan't my meet. Trials was, this wasn't.
I am trying to put it all in perspective since my main goal was just to make it here to Beijing. I am here and swam on the biggest athletic stage I've ever been on. I'll take the memories of it all back to the states with me. Opening ceremonies, the village, my AWESOME cheering section, wearing the USA uniform, the great swims of my teammates... I will carry them all with me and they can only make be stronger on whatever I decide to pursue next. Everyone here has the dream of standing on the medal podium hearing their national anthem. I've dreamed it a hundred times. Maybe it will happen for me somewhere down the road, Beijing just wasn't my time.
After my race I got to see Dick and my family. I've never wanted and needed a hug from Dick and my family so badly. The tears flowed from all of us and it was with a mixture of emotions. For me, it was mostly disappointment in myself and my times but also that the journey to and in Beijing is over for me. It has been an unforgettable one filled with both ups and downs and I would do it all over again. But hopefully with better results this time...:)
I had so much support here. 20 incredible family and friends that came all the way here to see me swim (and check out the sights of China..) I am trying not to feel bad that they didn't even get to see me swim in finals. But it is what it is...
There are 3 days left of swimming and I will be there to cheer on my teammates. After that we get a day off before closing ceremonies. We get to go with our families to see the city so I'll be out with my parents for the day. I'm sure we'll see the Great Wall and hopefully I'll get to see the some of the city and try some authentic Chinese food. I am looking forward to that.
SO, my time swimming in the cube is over. I wish I could go back and redo all my swims but that'll have to be done in my head. When I take a bigger look at things which will get easier as the days go on, I am still honored to have worn the USA uniform over here and be part of Team USA. This has been an incredible experience and I am proud to have made it this far.